Men of Oregon Collect Regional Awards
EUGENE, Ore. – The No. 1-ranked Oregon track and field team collected a trio of USTFCCCA regional accolades Thursday with honors for head coach Robert Johnson, associate head coach Ben Thomas and distance standout Cooper Teare.
USTFCCCA West Region Men's Coach of the Year: Robert Johnson
USTFCCCA West Region Men's Assistant Coach of the Year: Ben Thomas
USTFCCCA West Region Men's Track Athlete of the Year: Cooper Teare
Johnson is now a four-time West Region Men's Coach of the Year, having previously been selected in 2015, 2017 and 2020. He has also been the top women's coach in the region three times (2011, 2016-17).
The Men of Oregon have been the top-ranked team in the country for five-consecutive weeks and earned 12 NCAA indoor entries spread among 10 student-athletes and seven events. Over the course of the season, the Ducks recorded 12 top-10 national marks including five NCAA-leading performances (60m, 800m, mile, 3000m and DMR). Emmanuel Ihemeje, part of Johnson's horizontal jumps crew, set a school record in the triple jump (16.41m/53-10.25) and enters the national meet with the sixth-best mark in the country.
Thomas is the West Region Men's Assistant Coach of the Year for a third-consecutive season. This season, the Ducks' distance crew has been responsible for two collegiate records with Teare in the mile (3:50.39) and the team of Teare, Cole Hocker, Charlie Hunter and Luis Peralta in the DMR (9:19.42). Hunter added a UO record in the 800 meters with his 1:45.59 performance at the Tyson Invitational.
Thomas, the reigning USTFCCCA National Assistant of the Year, saw five of his runners dip under four minutes in the mile this season: Teare, Hocker (3:50.55), Hunter (3:53.49), Reed Brown (3:56.51) and Evan Holland (3:59.95).
Teare, the recently established collegiate-record holder in the mile, ran NCAA-leading times in that event and in the 3,000 meters (7:46.10). He will be making his third NCAA Indoor Championships appearance in the latter. With his run in the mile, Teare became the seventh-fastest man in world indoor history. He anchored the Ducks' DMR to a second NCAA record in as many year, posting a split of 3:54.61 on the carry.
The Alameda, Calif., native is the sixth UO man to win regional honors, along with Galen Rupp (2009), Andrew Wheating (2010), Eric Jenkins (2015), Edward Cheserek (2016-17) and James West (2020)
Additionally, Teare and Hunter continued to hold their respective spots on The Bowerman Watch List while Hocker made his debut on the 10-man list. Thursday's release marks the first time three Oregon men have ever appeared on the same watch list. Freshman Micah Williams is one of nine men receiving votes in the latest update.
Since his initial appearance on The Bowerman Watch List in February, Hunter established new personal bests at 800 meters (1:45.59) and in the mile (3:53.49), both indoor national records for his native Australia. With those times, he ranks No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, all-time in collegiate history. For the NCAA Indoor Championships, Hunter is entered in the 800 meters.
Hocker is the ninth Oregon man to make an appearance on The Bowerman Watch List. He is the Ducks' lone dual qualifier for the NCAA Indoor Championships, entered in both the mile and 3,000 meters. Hocker ranks among the top 15 nationally in three events with No. 2 times in the mile and 3,000 meters (7:46.44) and 13th over 800 meters (1:48.44).
Named for legendary Oregon head coach Bill Bowerman and first awarded in 2009, The Bowerman is presented annually to the year's most outstanding male and female performers in collegiate track and field.
Five Ducks have won The Bowerman, a list featuring Galen Rupp (2009), Ashton Eaton (2010), Laura Roesler (2010), Jenna Prandini (2015) and Raevyn Rogers (2017). Bowerman, Eaton and Rogers are three of the five UO icons depicted on the tower at Hayward Field.
The next updates of the watch list are set for March 24 (women) and March 25 (men).
For more news and information about Oregon Track and Field, follow @OregonTF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.